Darkness by Stacey Marie Brown

Freak. Witch. Crazy.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal. Having different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for troubled teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of danger, and secrets. Secrets that will change what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined. 
Ember finds a world where knowledge is power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. She is forced between love and destiny, even when the differences aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy two worlds. At best, she will lose her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, there will be no going back.

Okay, wow. I have to admit that the title kinda had me a bit skeptical at first, but I’m so glad I made the decision to read this book. It’s right up there with the rest of my favorites.

I need to talk about Eli first. I know he has a really weird name, but the rest of him definitely makes up for it. He’s mysterious in a good way and that really makes you want to get to know him better. And then there’s his personality. He’s bossy and condescending, but somehow his occasional moments of charity balance it out to create a perfect guy. He loves arguing with Ember, and I have to say that their interactions are one thing that I constantly looked forward to. It’s explosive and amazing.

And then of course there’s Ember. She’s snarky and tough and doesn’t take shyt from anyone. She adds a little bit of humor that keeps things interesting.

The main action only takes place in the last couple of chapters in the books which would otherwise make for a really boring read, but one of the things that prevents that from happening is the conversations between Eli and Ember (would that make them Elimber or Embeli?), and Stacey’s amazing writing style. On the other hand, when the climax of each book finally does appear, there is so much new information that it is absolutely worth the wait.

The plot throughout the series though, is absolutely riveting. There’s suspense. There’s mystery. There’s drama. And all of this contributes to a series where each and every book is absolutely captivating. Whether or not there is something happening plot-wise, there is never a dull moment anywhere. Of course, there is no way I can forget some of the characters’ super snarky senses of humor, which is always a plus.

EDIT: On February 12, 2017, Stacey released a sequel series called the Lightness Saga.

A war is brewing.

Kennedy is one of the last known Druids. Wanted dead by the Seelie Queen and as a coveted asset to defeat this cruel ruler, Kennedy’s has become a mark. Especially by a sexy, merciless Dark Dweller, Lorcan Dragen.

Kidnapped and taken prisoner, Kennedy’s life takes a dramatic turn, down a path she never imagined. Spending time with a man who killed her best friend’s mother and her friend, she knows he is not someone she should care about. But the longer she spends with her enemy, the more her feelings blur the line between what is right and wrong, what is true and what is not.

As her magic grows, so does the shy, nerdy girl, and she soon realizes nothing on a list or in a book will prepare her for what is ahead.

Even her own feelings.

It’s very good, and most of what I said in the previous review still applies here. My only downside was that the first book, Crown of Light, was paced much slower, with less interesting character interaction. I would give it 3.5 stars, a full star lower that the Darkness series. Still, it’s only the first book. Book 2, Lightness Falling, is releasing in a couple of months, and we’ll see if it gets better.



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